Astronomy Picture of the Day
by, 27th July 2011 at 07:07 (513 Views)
NGC 2403 in Camelopardalis
Magnificent island universe NGC 2403 stands within the boundaries of the long-necked constellation Camelopardalis.
Some 10 million light-years distant and about 50,000 light-years across, the spiral galaxy also seems to have more than its fair share of giant star forming HII regions, marked by the telltale reddish glow of atomic hydrogen gas.
In fact, NGC 2403 closely resembles another galaxy with an abundance of star forming regions that lies within our own local galaxy group, M33 the Triangulum Galaxy. Of course, supernova explosions follow close on the heels of the formation of massive, short-lived stars and in 2004 one of the brightest supernovae discovered in recent times was found in NGC 2403.
Easy to confuse with a foreground star in our own Milky Way Galaxy, the powerful supernova is seen here as the spiky, bright "star" at the left edge of the field.
This stunning cosmic portrait is a composite of space and ground-based image data from the Hubble Legacy Archive and the 8.2 meter Subaru Telescope at the summit of Mauna Kea, Hawaii.
*Credit: Image Data - Subaru Telescope (NAOJ), Hubble Legacy Archive; Processing - Robert Gendler.